The Rules Work! 10 Rules to Follow and you Can Still Enjoy Life

I joined a couple of chat rooms about being skinny and/or dieting.  It is so upsetting to see so many people struggling with their weight and looking for a miracle or advice that will work.  Some are ordering fiber that fills them up, or other magic pills.  You know, I tried a few myself.  I tried the Raspberry Ketones and it didn’t work.  I tried some carb blockers–saw nothing.  Even if something helps a little, it will not keep it off.  You have to do the work.  There is no cheating.

I think that the biggest issue is that you feel like you will feel deprived.  I have had people tell me that they don’t want to start a diet until after their birthday, or a vacation, or a wedding, or whatever.  They want to eat cake, etc.  That is silly.  Regardless of what event comes up, there will ALWAYS be events that come up.  If you are going to indulge, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still follow dieting or lifestyle change rules and just work it into your week.  Even Weight Watchers has let you save up points for special treats.


So, here are 10 Rules to follow and still enjoy life.  

1.  You need to be ok with the idea of cutting bread, cereal, rice and potatoes either out of your life like me, or cut down to only one or two portions a week of one of these items.  Just remember, these items are high on the carbs and even the glycemic index.  They are not necessary in your diet and the value of what they give you nutritionally pales in comparison to proteins, fruits and vegetables.  Need fiber?  Take some in a drink or eat your crunchy vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, etc).

2.  Learn how to find substitutes for the things that you like.  I like pancakes once in a while, so I get low-carb baking mix.  Last couple of blogs I explained this.  There are substitutes for pizza crust like cauliflower or with wheat in it–Flat Out bread–lower carbs.

3.  Prepare more.  So many people are in my opinion, not in the habit of doing it or are just really lazy and don’t prepare the night before–what they will eat.  I always have protein bars, drinks, mixes from, hard-boiled eggs done from Costco, low-fat string cheese, and low-carb Dannon Greek Lite and Fit yogurt.  If I have to run out the door, I will grab as many things as I think I will need based on the amount of hours I will be gone.  I bring an egg for my breakfast and something for 3 to 4 hours later.  If I think I will be gone longer, then I bring cheese, yogurt, or a low-carb protein bar with me–sometimes two, if I am unsure about time.  They don’t go bad out of the refrigerator.

4.  I know people who are not well, they sleep in and then run out the door and do not have food with them and didn’t think to grab any prepared item, so they need to know where to go to get a fast protein meal (you need 6 small protein meals a day).  Fast food places will sell you sides–eggs, bacon, etc.  Get those and they are cheap.  A side of eggs and bacon at Jack in the Box is actually tasty and under $2.  You can also pick up a quick salad at those places or even a market.  Just make sure it is low-carb and no chinese noodles or croutons–all of the carbs are there!

5.  You will not feel hungry and like you will die if you keep eating protein every 3-4 hours.  You might feel sugar cravings at first (I did for a few weeks and then it gets better, I promise), but if you eat 4 ounces of a meat or have a couple of lite string cheeses, then you feel better again.  You don’t have to have major carbs to feel good, you just think you do.  I also drink coffee with non-dairy creamer in it and I feel better and more full afterwards.

6.  Every time you indulge and eat something very sugary, you will start those high and low cravings all over again because your body will use up the sugar and want more.  It is sugar addiction and it has you hooked.  So, if you really think you need a “hit”, then that is a good time to have one of your small cup sized servings of a fruit (two a day).  Citrus and berries are lowest carbs and others have more–especially bananas.

7.  Exercise.  It helps burn calories and helps with the cravings.  You would be surprised at how well it works.

8.  Take vitamins and minerals daily because sometimes cravings are actually your body’s way of screaming for nutrients.

9.  Drink 60 ounces of water (or flavor it with something non-sugary) a day because dehydration makes you hungry too.

10.  If you go to a special event and want to eat cake, you will have to cut down on the carbs on every meal you are having the whole rest of the day.  If a piece of cake is say, 40g of carbs (look it up online on a nutrition calculator), then you need to have somewhere between 10g and 60g of carbs with the rest of your foods for the day.  YOU SHOULD HAVE 50g to 100g of carbs a day and no more to lose weight)


Be happy, you are going to lose weight!

Sometimes You Will Miss Wheat, So Alternatives!

I am off wheat products because of how badly the product is grown now and how it makes me gain weight and get a big belly (read the Wheatbelly by Dr. William Davis

But, I feel that I can have it once in awhile, but it has to be a low-carb version.

Here is a list of 10 food ideas that you can have once in awhile and know that you won’t be hurting your low-carb diet.

1.  PANCAKES!  You can go to and buy their mix, which is about 13g of carbs for a small stack and they taste great.  Make sure you get lite syrup that has few carbs per tablespoon.  Remember that Pancake Syrup is about 53 g of carbs per 4 tablespoons.  I can get a quarter of a cup for 10g of carbs in my syrup.  (See picture)

Also, there are mixes at and (which can be used for waffles and pizza too)


I haven’t bought it yet, but if it is as good as their syrup, I am going to like it.


2.  FlatOut Bread, with less than 10g net carbs per piece.  Make wraps or pizza.





3.  Western Bagel Perfect 10 Bagel (10g net carbs per bagel vs. over 35g for most bagels):



4.  Netrition and other online sites have breads and pita breads that are low carb.  Look at for choices.  Also, there are some low-carb and diabetic sugar free places in different cities and states.  Look them up online.

5.  Almond Flour substitution in cakes like the one I blogged about.  YUMMY.  

finished cake6.  Soy pasta noodles by Shirtaki.   I have had them and they smell when you open, but after you microwave, DELISH!

But, and also sell low-carb pasta noodles for sphaghetti, lasagna, etc.



7.  LOW carb protein bars.  This one and Power Crunch are my favorites, although my sister in law likes the lower carb Kind bars.

nature valley


8.  There are lower carb small flat breads in the market for sandwiches, but watch the carb count on those.  Remember, you want between 50 and 100g of carbs a day and no more, to lose weight.  The closer to 50, the faster the weight falls off.  However, the low-carb tortillas that I have bought at Costco and Trader Joes make a nice enchillada with turkey, cheese, tomatoes and sauce.



9.  Cauliflower-based pizza crust pizza.  So good, you won’t miss the wheat crust.  SO low carb.  I can eat the whole 9 inch pizza for about 10-15g of carbs vs. 30g per slice of a normal pizza.





10. My zucchini instead of pasta noodles lasagna.  Delicious.  However, if you really want to get LOW CARB pasta, you can get it online at places like or a low carb shop.  If you eat the regular noodles, it is fattening!  Too many carbs!20130325-223344.jpg



Healthy Weight Loss and Lifestyle Challenge

Saw a healthy 3 week challenge online today and thought I would share it.  It actually incorporates all that I do talk about on Skinny-Rules.  It is low carb.  Remember though, to eat your veggies, salads, proteins, fruits, nuts.  Wheat bread, only once or twice a week at one slice each time.

The purpose of this challenge is supposed to help you learn a healthier lifestyle and get a jumpstart to weight loss.   The creator of this challenge also suggests cutting out potatoes. (I do!  Even sweet potatoes)

There are TWO exceptions to this challenge– 
1. NO CHOCOLATE— you can make your OWN chocolates with cacao powder and stevia (or Truvia baking blend)– I am mainly wanting to break the cycle with store-bought, processed chocolate. If you make your OWN desserts from scratch, it is healthier. Dark cacao powder is actually proven to have some extra health benefits as well.

(I still have my chocolate or peanut butter Crunch Bars and I still like my Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein bars (dark chocolate is good for you, right?)

2. NO CHIPS— This means NO POTATO CHIPS.   (That is a no duh!  No potatoes)

(And I still am going to have my diet soda here and there.  Sorry, gotta have something!)

3.  Also, NO ALCOHOL– if you are trying to lose weight.  The body will not break down fat when it is busy breaking down alcohol.

Here is the challenge:


So, you think you are up for it?

Sugar Cravings

Getting off of grains, most fruits and sugar products is very hard.  As you do it, your body and  MIND have been trained to look for the “hit” at the pleasure point in your brain.  In a way, you conditioned or brainwashed your brain to want and need the sugar, but over time,  you can get over it.  You allowed the foods that you were conditioned to eat do this to you and you have no idea that this was happening.  You were conned into buying and eating those foods, without realizing how they would have control over you like an addict has no control over their need for their drug of choice.  So, fight back.

How to get through the cravings.  

  • Drink lots of sugar-free fluids.
  • Get enough lean protein and fiber.   There have been studies.  The people who eat more protein report feeling less hungry.  When I am hungry, I get a protein bar, protein drink, some meat or a piece of cheese and it satisfies the cravings.  The second thing that fills me up is fiber.  That is in vegetables, but also in protein bars and protein drinks.  A lot of people will eat cereal to fill them up and that has fiber, but it also is mostly carbs and not only will you gain weight or not lose any weight, but you will be hungry again very soon after and go through a sugar rollercoaster.
  • Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.  The more fruit and vegetables that are in the diet, the greater the weight loss and you are less likely to say that you feel hungry on any given day. Have you ever tried to eat a lot of vegetables?  You get full fast, right?  It is the fiber!


Studies have show that changing your habits to focus on protein, water and fiber-rich foods helps maintain weight loss for many years.  I try to stay away from sugar.  If it is natural and in my fruit, etc.–that is fine, but if you have a sugar product, your brain will want more.  It is a lot of work fighting the pleasure center of your brain.  Consider alternative products without a lot of sugar, corn-syrup, etc.


Do You Hate To Exercise?

I used to hate to exercise.  I didn’t grow up with a mother who was into it, but with time, I realized that I did like to exercise, I loved to ride my bike.  I should have been encouraged to exercise in an enjoyable way.  Some people like different things.  Some people prefer hiking, skiing, dancing, etc.  Those exercises should be encouraged and parents should encourage them with their children.  Playstation and watching people run in a video game is NOT encouraging your child to learn to love exercise.  Take your kids to the park and toss a ball, fly a kite, play on swings, ride bikes, go roller skating, etc.

We need to be role models for our children and we need to FIND time to take care of yourselves.  A study came out yesterday that exercising at least 15 minutes after EVERY meal cut the diabetes risk in half.  And the kicker–exercising cuts down on sugar cravings and it helps release chemicals in the brain to feel happier!  It is nature’s mood stabilizer.

I personally now enjoy doing an hour on my elliptical at home and I read emails and such on my IPAD while on there.  I then feel like I am killing two birds with one big stone and the time goes faster!  You can also watch your favorite TV show.  I also love group pilates and yoga and go to both equaling 4-5 times a week.

What is the point of working your kids homework and schoolwork to the bone and then they can’t enjoy the fruition of their hard work because they are sickly early in adulthood with terrible diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart issues from obesity?  Exercise is an important part of every day’s plan!  OR it should be.

Ways to exercise for fun (find one you enjoy and you could also do with a friend, mate or children)


  • Exercise group classes (mine are yoga and pilates)
  • Aerobic classes or online at home
  • The WII Fit
  • Riding a bike, roller skating or blading
  • Hiking
  • Skiing (seasonal and costs money)
  • Walking or Running (with a dog too).  Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, meet for a walk or another exercise activity.
  • Swimming
  • Gym workouts, weight training
  • Boxing or kickboxing
  • Dancing
  • Zumba or other dance classes
  • Jump roping or trampoline (Sky Zone places too)
  • At home elliptical, walking or biking machine

The Big Con: The Big Food Companies Duped You To Have A Weight Issue!

Today, I was writing to a chat room about being addicted to sugar and how it is like being addicted to crack and some people got really defensive.  But, seriously, it isn’t all our faults.  We have been manipulated by food companies.  Certain foods are engineered by their companies  to make us eat more of them.  They are designed to taste good and give us pleasure.  The combination of sugar, salt and fat is done to maximize the impact that the foods have on our taste receptors and pathways to the brain.

There are many ways to make foods taste good and give us pleasure.

One of the best ways is to use a combination of sugar, salt and fat to maximize the impact these foods have on our taste receptors and reward pathways in the brain.  And when you add artificial flavors and textures, the foods are hard to resist.

The food industry has learned through research what the public wants.  It is their job to sell products and make money.  They reward the pathways to our brain and they make us ADDICTED to these foods.

So, this is how you get repeat customers, but it destroys the health of those who eat these foods.  So, you get addicted, you have the ability to an abundance of these foods and therefore, there is a huge obesity and diabetes epidemic happening.  It is the reason people become addicted to these foods and literally can not stop eating even though they know the foods are causing them severe harm.

Here is a link to the story in NPR about it and the book that exposes the secrets.


Do you like the fact that you were and are being manipulated for profit?  Think about reading this book and work on your food issues as an addiction.  It might make more sense this way for you when you change the way you eat.


Low-Carb Pizza Bases for Wraps and Pizzas! Whoo Hoo!

My sister-in-law found another interesting item to try.  It is Flatbread that is low carb and can be used for wraps and to make an individual pizza.  So, I am now attempting to make a margarita pizza with one.  They are called, Flatout, but I bought the LIGHT Flatout, which has less carbs.  No sugar.

My whole crust has 9g of protein (really decent), high fiber at 9g  and the carbs is 16g.  But, net carbs is 16g carbs -9g fiber=7g of carbs!!  I put a little sauce on, which is probably about 5g of carbs and there are no carbs in my mozarella cheese and hardly any in my tomatoes.  Lets just say I am probably going to have a pizza that is tasty and is about 13g of net carbs at the most.  What an awesome dinner and treat!  I am trying to stay away from wheat, but if I do have it, it has to be once in awhile and I prefer it be either very low carb like this, or gluten-free.

You can get sugar-free pizza sauce at, if you need it.

So easy to make a pizza.  DIRECTIONS

Set the oven at 350.  Spray a cookie sheet, place the Flatout on the sheet, bake one side for one minute and then flip and bake the other side for one minute.

Put on your pizza sauce, cheese, tomatoes, basil or or whatever toppings you want on it.  Bake it for 4-7 minutes or 30 seconds longer for crisp.  Bam!  Done.

Dinner or lunch is served.  Easy and light!  Perfect for a diet or your new way of LOW-CARB life like mine.


Here is a picture of someone else’s wrap and pizza.  I will include my pictures later on.  I think mine looks better! 🙂








Keep skinny!


What Would A Nutritionist NOT Eat?

My information came from Shape Magazine.

Nutritionists would not eat:

1. Rice Cakes

Why? They are bad for weight loss with a glycemic index of 91 out of 100, the carb count is too high (I stay away from rice, not to mention that they have high arsenic levels in them) and the sugar high and low is really terrible For your diet and your mood.

2. Fat-free Salad Dressing

Don’t fear fat. It is the sugar and carbs to look out for in your food choices. Fat-free has to add sugar or corn syrup for flavor, so you were better off with the fat. Just watch out for the carb count and serving size.

3. Shark

High mercury levels salmon has the lowest mercury and in the meantime has Omega 3. That is good.

4. Refined and Re-fortified Grains

“Unfortunately this rules out a majority of the carbohydrates found on supermarket shelves. Refined and re-fortified grains are grain-based foods like certain breakfast cereals, pastas, and rice products that have been refined such that the naturally occurring fiber, vitamins, and minerals have been removed. Companies then replace the fiber and synthetic versions of the vitamins and minerals that were initially removed. Sometimes (and this is really sneaky) they put everything back in naturally occurring ratios so that they can still claim the food contains ‘whole grains’. My suggestion: Just eat the real unfortified stuff in the first place.”

5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

They have empty calories and carbs, they fatten you and you don’t get a full feeling from them. Also, simple sugars lowers your good cholesterol and increases your triglyceride levels (two risk factors for heart disease). Drinking sugary beverages also promotes disturbances in your body’s inflammatory balance, making it harder to recover from exercise and increasing your risk of numerous chronic illnesses. Instead opt for water or a calorie-free infused drink.

6. Grits

Another hyper-refined carbohydrate, grits are the small leftover pieces from corn processing. they lack significant amounts of vitamins or minerals. They contain a minute amount of fiber and no essential fats. Their flavor is lacking and thus butter or heavy cream is used to make them palatable, bringing together the artery clogging and waistline expanding simple carbohydrates and saturated fat.


What About Processed Foods?

I have discussed carbs, but some of you (and I) are concerned about processed foods and their safety. Processed foods are not really good for us. In fact, I read today that they can really affect our auto immune systems.

What are processed foods?

Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or for convenience. The methods used include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing.

Some of these foods are not bad for your health at all. For example, milk would be considered a processed food because it’s pasteurized to kill bacteria and homogenized to keep fats from separating, so most of us are happy to consume the healthy processed milk we find in our grocery stores.

Freezing vegetables preserves most vitamins and minerals and makes them convenient to store, cook and eat all year around. Fruit and vegetable juice is also an example of a healthy processed food and fortified with supplements. Oatmeal, unbreaded frozen fish fillets, canned salmon, frozen berries and 100-percent whole grain bread are also examples of processed foods that are good for you, except now there is a concern that the wheat is modified and not good for us.

Sure, there are a lot of processed foods that aren’t good for you. Many of these bad ones are made with trans-fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar. These processed foods should be avoided, or at least eaten sparingly.

Processed foods that may be bad for your diet:

  • Canned foods (including soup) with large amounts of sodium or fat.
  • Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains.
  • Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies.
  • Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium.
  • Packaged cakes and cookies.
  • Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium.
  • Sugary breakfast cereals.
  • Processed meats. *

* Some studies suggest that eating processed meats may increase your risk of colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer. Processed meats include hot dogs, bologna, sausage, ham and other packaged lunch meats. These meats are frequently high in calories, saturated fats and sodium.

Breakfast cereal can be good for you if it’s made with 100-percent whole grain and fortified with additional nutrients, but many breakfast cereals are low in fiber and contain too much sugar, and again the wheat can lead to problems and weight issues.

Be sure to look for products that are made with more whole grains, less sodium and have fewer calories. They should also be low in saturated fat and free of trans-fats (be sure to read the label, sometimes foods that claim to be trans-fat free still contain partially hydrogenated oils). Make sure you pay attention to serving size, too, and balance out the processed foods with more fresh foods. If you choose a convenient meal in a skillet, add a garden salad, fresh vegetables, and some whole grain bread to make the meal healthier. You can also the nutritional value of ramen noodles by adding fresh vegetables.